Wear Your Heart on Your Skin….


“wear your heart on your skin in this life”
Sylvia Plath, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts


I quite literally took Sylvia’s advice and had Joey Singleton at Ethos Tattoos in Saline, Michigan etch hearts into my skin.

There is an intimacy to tattooing. I let Joey touch me in places that no one but lovers and doctors have ever been. I trust him completely. Our conversations during my appointment range from sarcastic jokes to secrets I wouldn’t share with anyone else. He holds my words in his heart, they travel down his arm into the needle and under my skin. They are trapped there forever. Sometimes I hear them whispering to me in the middle of the night.

The act of tattooing is therapeutic. A gentle buzzing that sets me on edge, but somehow brings peace. I like to see the redness of my raised skin and the stippling of blood. How it runs down my arm. Joey rinses it off and softly wipes it away. His needle bites my skin and more of the design emerges. Its beauty and pain, and I want more of both.

Frequently, I remember what it was like to sit in  Joey’s chair, I hear his voice and feel the adrenaline course through my bloodstream. My skin becomes covered in goosebumps and I wish I could see him one more time. Have him keep tattooing me till I feel normal. Whatever in the hell normal is. I’m done with tattoos for now though. My story continues, but in the written word. For the time being anyway.

The work I had done is an original. No one will ever have it. Andi Schoenbaum is the artist that graciously shared her work with me. Please check out her website. I’m honored to have her art tattooed on my skin. The print spoke to me in ways you can’t imagine. It’s a part of me now. Forever. Thank you Andi. Thank you too Joey. You both are fabulous artists and individuals. I’m proud to know you both.

As the Inferno Smolders

She stood there, dipper in hand, drinking the endless supply of water from the Artesian well as she watched her ex-lover burn.

She slaked her thirst, while his skin melted and he screamed in agony.

She became more satisfied with each swallow of the precious fluid.

He begged for a few drops, to end his suffering and stop the pain.

She enjoyed watching him writhe too much, and she would not give in.

She regaled in his pain. Enjoyed watching him burn.

The scent of his burning flesh didn’t even effect her. Didn’t make her nauseated. She thought it would, but she found she savored it.

With her thirst quenched, she places the dipper back on the handle of the ancient stone fountain.

His screams have reduced to agonizing moans, yet she feels no remorse.

She stands by the ancient fountain and removes her clothes.

She walks down the steps, and settles her body under the water, with just her head breaking the surface.

He keeps burning, and moaning, but she pays no mind to it.

Soon what was once his body is now only embers.

In her nakedness she stands up, and goes to the pocket of her jeans.

She finds her cigarettes, places one between her lips, leans over what once was his body and says, “May I have a light?”

*Sometimes even us funny writers have a bit of anger in us. Sometimes a friend gives us an idea for a story and we run with it. Thanks Tracy for the idea. I’m glad you liked it.*